Sunday, 14 September 2008

Back from my Summer Holiday

On Thursday we set off on our summer holiday - two nights in Birmingham and two in the Peak District of Derbyshire! Such high living. I have to say that we didn't get off to a great start. I packed us some posh sandwiches so we could be flexible about lunch and Smudge really enjoyed eating Clive's - dill mayonaise and all. The little toad pulled down the bag and ate the lot. Clive was not amused - it was the last of the smoked salmon. It didn't help that everyone else found it hilarious. So Smudge went off in disgrace to stay with my daughter.

We were on our annual quest - every year we go to Birmingham to explore the jewellery quarter and every year we do something else instead. This year was no exception as we found a new bit of the Art Gallery and spent so long there that we ran out of time. It has become something of a joke and at least we have the chance to go back next year.

We had a fun meal that evening with the Oliver Twists gang and the Ario girls (Hi Karen and Fiona), who were all at the Knitting and Stitching show. This, of course was the reason for our visit, as I wanted to do a write up of the Art Van Go initiative - Artists in Action. It was every bit as good as I expected, but I shall make you wait for the next WoW for the report. Here's a pic to get you excited.

Lots of my favourite artists were there and we don't often see the Scottish girls, Rose Campbell and Alison King, down south. Their work is so exciting and it was good to have the chance to talk it through - right from sketch to stitch. Here is Laura Kemshall in action. She can be relied on for great work, especially live.

I tried not to look at too much more of the show as I want to see it at Ally Pally but sneaked a peek at some delicious work from Jan and Jean and saw a flash of colour that could only be Ruth Issett.

We met Fiona Dix for lunch to talk over the secure site for the new book. She is such a rock and keeps our sites running smoothly. She has become the 'stitchers' web designer and does sites for all the textile stars. I feel much happier now we have spoken.

After this, we moved up to Matlock hoping for some walking in the Peaks, but the book was back from the designer earlier that expected and it had to be finished by Saturday. I managed to get the captions done on Friday in the hotel but we decided to come back a day early to get all the rest checked out. More on that later.

We had a wonderful sunny visit to The Heights of Abraham in Matlock Bath - going up the steep slope in a cable car. Then we went down a cavern (fantastic light effects) and visited the fossil shop. Needless to say I bought a fossil.

How about this for a coffee stop? Note the phantom scone picker.

Then it was off home to burn the midnight oil on the book. Even worse for poor Michael - it was not my best effort as an editor (too long a drive, I think) and I had to make some revisions this morning.

I have to tell you that the book looks fabulous. I am so pleased. It will be out in about three weeks, so not long to wait. If you want to reserve a copy let Fiona know on - no obligation, just gives her a chance to get organised before all the books arrive. It is much bigger than Embellish and Stitch and the pics are wonderful. More details on the d4daisy site next week. I'll also be giving details of the classes and yes, we'll have a google or yahoo group to upload pics and chats.

I expect the classes to start in early November, to give everyone the chance to get the book and try a few basic techniques. I want to use the classes to build on these basics and I have some great ideas. There will be a password and you need to have the book to log in and register.
It's been so funny listening to your stories about the soggy catalogues. They will take some time yet to 'mature' and then comes the drying out. I think they will feature in the very last of the on-line classes.

Julia, who sounds just as crazy as the rest of us, sent this email to her mum after spotting a catalogue outside her house. Luckily her mum is crazy, too. I'm sure she won't mind sharing this, it gave me a good chuckle.

'Hello Mum! - have found something dreadful for you on the path. It's a catalogue (I think) of some kind, I flicked a snail off it. It's soaking wet still, and I've brought it into our garden in case(!) and this is the best bit...anyone else takes it!! You've got to be an artist to think like that! Will bring it up to you when Maggie Grey says you can move yours from under the cherry tree. Lots of love x x x xJulia'

Do you think there could be a new underclass of 'soggy catalogue' thieves? Better set up the CCTV girls.

Do feel free to chuck water over the catalogues if they have only just gone out. I suspect that Mother Nature will do that for us, though. Very soon.

Thanks for all the comments and glad you didn't mind the picture nicking, Anna.

Aussie Jo - we may meet at last. Hooray. I have to go back to Dale with the dates but she is so snooty about the All Blacks (they play rugby, apparently) that I might make her wait!

Finally 'Hi' to the ladies from Basingstoke I saw at the show. Glad you like the blog.


Carol said...

That email is just too funny!!!! I had to stop my Mum from bringing mine into the bin today!!!! Lovely!

downunderdale said...

well the rugby was FANTASTIC Maggie especially when we watched a replay knowing the result. Could always punish you with a viewing when you are here! Better get my catalogue out in the garden.

Aussie Jo said...

Love those dripping paint pictures, might try that soon

maggi said...

So glad you enjoyed yourself in the Peak District. Coffee stop looks truly gorgeous but I would say that as it's only about 10 minutes away from me. Enjoy Ally Pally. If you didn't look too closely at the NEC you are in for a treat. There was some wonderful work on display.

Mavis said...

Hi Maggie
I have contacted Fiona and put in a preorder for your new book. How do you find the time to be so creative and write a blog? I have only just started reading a few blogs, yours and downunderdale are the main ones. I'm not sure what the catalogue out in the garden is for but I figure it must have something to do with the 'new book'. Catalogues like the Argos one (my Mum loved them) are hard to come by in Australia, but I do have an old phone directory so that's out in the garden. I will just have to remember to water it as I live in Alice Springs, Central Australia and we don't get much rain. I only have a small courtyard and I'm hoping my little dog doesn't leave a 'doggie do' on it, if she does it's in the bin and back to square one! I will be meeting Dale Rollerson next week at the Geelong Fibre Forum and attending her embellishing workshop. I hope no one in the class mentions rugby as I wouldn't have a clue what it's about. Cheers Mavis

Karen said...

When you do finally get to the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham I recommend visiting the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. It is in an old factory which closed in 1981 and was just left as it was. There's a guided tour where you can see the machinery in action.

Looking forward to seeing the new book. I have just put a catalogue in the garden. I gave it a good soak first and left it next to the tree stump where the mice live (despite this being a two-cat household!)

JP said...

so sorry to hear about Clive's sandwiches - what did he get instead- cheese or did you share!! - I love this blog and read it regularly - off to put out my catalogue - what is the book called - is it hand or machine biased?

Kate said...

It's all very well you laughing at us Maggie, but our husbands are disgruntled and the children bemused!! My hubby was digging at the weekend so I had to shriek at him to keep the mud off my lovely catalogue which is under the holly. (I may have slashed mine a bit too enthusiastically. Hope it doesn't matter) xx

Mavis said...

Slash the catalogue, are we supposed to mutilate it before we put it into the garden? I missed that bit somewhere.

Diana said...

So exciting to see the new book cover up here, Maggie, and the extra info on your site. I can't wait for the book and classes - just what I've been wanting for ages! Thanks so much for responding to everyone who asked you for these...